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2013 Fall TV Preview: The Returning Shows On ABC

September 3rd, 2013 11:46am EDT

Modern Family Welcome to Week 2 of the 2013 Fall TV Preview. Week 1 was wildly success. ABC kicks things off for the third year in a row. I wrote about the critics disdain for ABC president Paul Lee last week, but they acknowledge ABC's success with its veteran shows. Revenge and Once Upon A Time enter season three this month. Grey's Anatomy is entering its tenth season. Castle's on season six. The Neighbors and Nashville got a second season. ABC struggles to develop and maintain new shows. I don't know why. How futile is network analysis with the growth of streaming services such as Hulu and Netflix? Network analysis is interesting and worthwhile, but network executives must feel a sense of unease and panic about the future of making profit from TV shows in the old model. ABC's goal will to end its streak of fourth place finishes. No network wants to be one spot better than The CW--that's embarrassing.

LAST MAN STANDING returns on Friday, September 20 at 8PM

Google Last Man Standing. Auto-complete suggests 'last man standing cancelled' as the second best search item. The Duck Dynasty family will try acting in a different kind of scripted series this season on Last Man Standing when they guest-star. The heavily bearded men and Tim Allen should make for good on-screen chemistry. From what I read on Zap2It, Tim Allen's character is again threatened by the women in his life. It's very possible Zap2It's as clueless as I am about Last Man Standing and just hoped typing out the premise of the series would work in the article. I thought Last Man Standing moved away from threatened masculinity into generic family sitcom.

THE NEIGHBORS returns on Friday, September 20 at 8:30PM (NEW NIGHT)

I wrote about two episodes of The Neighbors last season and would've watched the series weekly if not for my attempt to cover an overwhelming amount of TV. I don't think my viewership of The Neighbors is essential to me. I won't fall into despair for missing the series. TV sites don't bother too much with the story of a show in its news items or previews. Casting news and spoilers are the most important news item. I've no idea what's in store for season 2. I know the blonde actress from Secret Life (Megan Park) who made it on The Soup a lot joins the series.

CASTLE returns on Monday, September 23 at 10PM

Series creator Andrew Marlowe didn't lie about Castle and Beckett's coupling last season. This season, their relationship may take the next step to engagement. Season 5 concluded with Castle's marriage proposal, but fans have waited three months for Beckett's answer. I don't watch Castle, but I'll guess what her answer will be: she'll neither say yes or no, instead delaying it only for the two to have a romantic scene of affirmation to end the premiere.

THE MIDDLE returns on Wednesday, September 25 at 8PM

The Middle's entering its fifth season. Modern Family hogs the critical acclaim, I suppose. Rachel Dratch was cast as a middle school principal for the fifth season.

MODERN FAMILY returns on Wednesday, September 25 at 9PM

Fifth seasons are potentially messy and problematic. By season five, many stories have been told, many personal arcs have been completed, and lazy ideas like 'wedding' make it to the final draft. Modern Family created a marketing campaign around a pregnancy, though, so I doubt their audience will scoff at a wedding. I'm just that guy, I guess. Adam DeVine, from Workaholics, joined the cast. Fred Willard's going to get more screen time.

NASHVILLE returns on Wednesday, September 25 at 10PM

Rayna's in a coma after the accident in the season finale. The writers can't keep Rayna in a coma that long. Connie Britton's much better speaking dialogue, moving around, than when she's not moving around and speaking dialogue. Last season's finale included a marriage proposal and a sex tape scandal. Why not go soap broke after settling on a coma storyline for the second season. ABC president Paul Lee promised Jolene and Rayna's rivalry will 'come to a head.'

GREY'S ANATOMY returns on Thursday, September 26 at 9PM

The season 10 premiere spans 2 hours and features a mudslide. Last season opened with the aftermath of an exploded bomb. Is this show still a hospital drama? The Grey's doctors will treat a bunch of firefighters, if I read what I read correctly. 10 seasons is an impressive feat. It's the longest running scripted drama (unless Supernatural's been on a few weeks longer). Sandra Oh will leave the series during the season. I'm sure something horrible will befall her character. How many original characters remain?

ONCE UPON A TIME returns on Sunday, September 30 at 8PM

I quit on OUAT 11 episodes into season 2. I couldn't do it anymore. I couldn't take the crappy special effects, the absurd amount of characters and storylines, and the sense that none of it mattered and none of it was going anywhere. I read the little myrmaid will be introduced into the story. Evil Peter Pan wants Henry, but it'll take 11 episodes to understand Pan's interest in the kid. Are you kidding me? 11 episodes? Using 11 episodes to explain evil Peter Pan's intentions is why I'll never watch Once Upon a Time again. Co-creator Adam Horowitz said the adventure to Neverland is its own story with comedy, adventure, romance, and unnecessarily long plot developments. No one needs an 11 hour Peter Pan movie.

REVENGE returns on Sunday, September 29 at 9PM

Season 2 of Revenge was a miserable experience. Mike Kelley and his room couldn't create enough stories to justify a 22 episode order. Plot threads dragged and then dropped when something more interesting came up. I still don't know how the Jennifer Jason Leigh plot line resolved. Did it resolve? Mike Kelley departed the show. The new show runner must justify a 22 episode order. It's all that matters. Don't make your audience aware they are wasting their time watching television. Make it worthwhile enough to help people forget they're wasting their time. I wrote about the first two seasons of the show, but I've bid it goodbye.

SCANDAL returns on Thursday, October 2 at 10PM

Recappers and reviewers need to find a different adjective to describe cliffhangers. If I ever use 'explosive' to describe a cliffhanger, I deserve spam from the DISH network. A simple perusal of the internet about the Scandal finale results in recaps about the explosive cliffhanger. I think a bomb went off. In fact, Olivia learned her dad plotted to kill her; plus, she needed to decide whether or not to continue with her affair with the president. Those plot points aren't explosive. Surprising? Yes. Use surprising. Another headline for season promises a 'shocking' premiere. Of course. Expect shocking storytelling and Lisa Kudrow.

Tomorrow: the returning shows across the cable and premium channels.

Related: Castle, Grey's Anatomy, Last Man Standing, Modern Family, Nashville, Once Upon A Time, Revenge, Scandal, The Middle, The Neighbors, Previews, ABC

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